Author Topic: Devon's comedic gift - random story - any feedback welcome  (Read 155 times)


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Devon's comedic gift - random story - any feedback welcome
« on: February 26, 2018, 09:54:55 pm »
Prompt: Devon, with a gift for comedy, takes up stalking, to see the world. His obstacle is Don the jailbird.
Starting Line: There I was just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden.

There I was just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden. The hot concrete swam in heat-haze at my feet, burning the soles of my shoes like a seething hell-broth of summer fury.
   The businessman in the sweat-drenched suit was standing in front of me, about to walk off into the airport terminal, about to lose me in the burning, dusty air. I couldn’t let this go. Not this time. Not after so long. I had to follow him. I had to get on that plane and go wherever he was going. I knew it was wrong, but I had no other option.
   Barely had I taken my first step across the shimmering tarmac when a gruff figure in grimy jeans and a ripped t-shirt barged into me, almost knocking me over.
   “Hey!” I shouted, “Watch it will you?”
   The man stared at me, his straggly beard curling in the heat, his eyes deep with lines that betrayed a hard life. He grinned horribly at me, his broken, rotting teeth lurching around inside his mouth like a goods train in the act of derailing. Instinctively I took a step back.
   “The name’s Don.” he said, in a way that sounded as if the fact was supposed to mean something to me. When I didn’t react, he stopped grinning. He glared at me.
   “You don’t even know who I am, do you?”
   He made a threatening gesture with his body as if flexing his muscles, and a tear in his already tatty t-shirt opened up wider, exposing an incredibly bad tattoo of a mermaid with three pairs of breasts, one of which was Don’s own right nipple. The black chest-hairs sprouting from the poor mermaid’s tail wobbled indecently as he flexed his muscles. I couldn’t help myself. It was the worst tattoo I’d ever seen. I burst out laughing, doubling over in hysteria, the blood rushing to my head as I spewed mirth into the hot air.
   “Shut up,” He said. “Shut up!”
   I felt the iron daggers of his vicious glare against my back. But I couldn’t stop laughing. My knees gave out and I collapsed against the burning tarmac, the smell of melting, sticky tar hitting me as I fell, my face mere centimeters from the amalgamation of oil and stone.
   I could feel the searing heat burning my right cheek, feel the hot tar sticking to my skin. I didn’t care. I kept laughing. I couldn’t help it. I could see a blob of chewing-gum melting into the stitches of his left shoe. I just knew there was no way he was getting it out. His sneakers were ruined. I laughed harder.
   I heard Don growling and looked up from his feet. He was mad, and I mean real mad. Mad like a mad dog that’s just had his favourite bone stolen by the postman. The problem was, I was up hysteria creek without a paddle. In fact I was up hysteria creek so far that I’d abandoned the canoe, and found myself setting up camp beside the wellspring which fed the entire body of chortling water.
   Don glowered at me. Talk about if looks could kill, right? His body shook with homicidal rage, with repressed anger, with all the hatred and misanthropic fury that a man could muster. His face was almost glowing with the crimson sheen of soaring blood pressure. He leaned over me, his features contorted in apoplexy, his mouth opening to form words, when I got an eyeful of the tattoo again.
   From such a low angle, the mermaid looked squashed, disfigured. Her now stubby tail was half hidden behind a fold of Don’s skin, her hirsute appearance enhanced by shadow. As Don stood shaking with anger, a little drop of sweat beaded up on the tip of his nipple. It glistened and quivered and fell, running down the mermaid’s tail hairs like a ping-pong ball in a fairground sideshow. One of those ones with the swiveling, gaping, disembodied clown heads. It was the epitome of ridicule.
   I lost it, and I mean I completely lost it. I couldn’t breathe for the laughter choking up my lungs, from the pain in my stomach, from the ache in my jaw. I could feel myself becoming light-headed, saw the blinding sun of the summer’s day blooming in the corners of my vision. I was almost paralysed.
   Don began screaming. A gutteral howl of anguish, a disjointed wailing. It was like someone stripping the gears on an eighteen-wheeler, trying to engine-brake downhill against broken glass because the derailed goods train from earlier was still coming in hot through the level crossing, and the rails were gouging twin hailstorms of sparks from the upturned carriages, and I literally mean through the level crossing, because a hundred tonnes of steel doesn’t stop for no man or woman or something insignificant as a chain-link fence and a barrier-arm, and as the impact of the train-wreck slammed into fence and signs and concrete and cars, I saw something shatter behind Don’s eyes, something small but which had held the heaviest of weights, and in that moment I saw something nobody should ever see.
   It felt like an eternity before Don’s screaming finally died away to silence. We were both still for a time, both staring at one another, unspeaking, unblinking. Then he turned and stumbled away, his form receding into the air-rippled city streets, a subtle difference in the way he held himself betraying all the pathos of an utterly broken man.
"Our imagination spans that infinite moment, between the asterisk and the ampersand."